The Coffee Tavern and Institute 

The Lansdown and Tivoli Coffee Tavern was opened in 1879 in Tivoli Place, Cheltenham, not as a parochial institute but as an “influence in the case of Temperance amongst the inhabitants of St Stephens parish”. Tickets which could be redeemed at the Tavern were often given as “tips” to “workmen, coal hauliers and messengers”. 

In 1890 the Coffee Tavern Company was offered the basement of the Tivoli Institute in Tivoli Street, Cheltenham. On Wednesday 28th June 1890 the Coffee Tavern reopened in its new premises “and in order that all the Inebriates in our parish might have an opportunity of making a fresh start with the Tavern, the Good Templars commenced what is now known as the Tivolian League of good Templars. We hope that all members of the St Stephens will look at the inside of the Tavern and drink to its success in a full and fragrant cup of tea”.

Coffee Taverns were started in Cheltenham by Major Kington and some “ladies and Gentlemen who most nobly and kindly assisted him”. There aim was to provide a place for strangers, the lonely or visitors, who wish to find somewhere to spend a sociable hour or two without having to resort to public houses. Tivoli was the fifth such coffee house opened in Cheltenham. In addition to providing refreshments from 5am until 10.30pm – “non intoxicating alone sold” – and meals ranging from “rice pudding and cakes at 1d (penny) per portion”  to chops or steaks and afternoon tea at 3d (pence) per head, the Tavern was also used as the Parish Library and as a depositing station for the Provident Clothing and Coal Club.

The institute building to which the Coffee Tavern moved in 1890 was basically the home of the Church of England Temperance Society in Tivoli; the St Stephens branch was formed in 1894.

The Vicar and church wardens took out a lease on the Institute and the cottages adjoining in 1890 and it was the lower room of the former building which housed the Tavern, the cottage providing accommodation for the manager.

From 1891 the Institute provided reading and recreation rooms for the parishioners. In September of that year it was decided that the Institute was to be regarded as entirely distinct from the Temperance Society so as to enable those who wished to use the Institute’s facilities - “the rooms are large and well supplied with Newspapers and periodicals” – to do so without incurring any other obligations whatsoever. The Institute was opened from 10.30pm daily. Thus the Institute and Coffee Tavern were run independently of each other.

In November 1902 it was decided to call premises “The St Stephens Parish Rooms and Institute” because the Tavern as a separate agency could not be kept up without running into debt. It was hoped that the rent could be maintained through the continued contributions of the Tavern subscribers and the parochial agencies which met in the parish rooms. These included the Men’s club, boys’ Sunday School (girls and infants met at the Hall), Bible class for young men, Mothers’ Meetings and Parish Library. 

In 1904 the premise were bought from the landlord for £500 and vested in three trustees “for the permanent use and benefit of the Church and Parish of St Stephen’s”.

In 1914 the loan for the purchase had not been completely repaid and the Trust was ended; the building was transferred to the Diocesan Trustees with a special request that a “Men’s club should, if possible, be always maintained there”. 

In 1955 the Diocesan Trustees offered to sell the property to the Men’s Club as it had become uneconomic to carry on the two properties. The Charity Commissioners, with whom the property had long before been registered, agreed to the sale for £1,250 and the transaction was completed by September 1956. 

The Coffee Tavern and Institute is now the St Stephens Sports and Social Club.

As well as retaining strong cricketing links the club also boasts two of the finest snooker tables in Cheltenham which are located in a room that looks as if it has come out of a 1930s movie.



St Stephens Sports & Social Club is dedicated to the promotion of sports and social friendship.

The Club is a member owned not for profit business.

As this is a members club the bar is only open to members, however all non members are welcome at any time to have a drink and try out the facilities.

If you would like to apply to join and for more information please click here   

(Once applied for, membership is subject to approval by the committee.)


Club Features

  • 2 Snooker Tables
  • Dog Friendly
  • Family Friendly
  • Function Room
  • Meeting Room
  • Traditional Pub Games
  • Sports TV on Large Screen - SKY & BT Sports
  • Sky Sports Racing & Racing TV
  • Free Wifi
  • Real Ale Available - Club serves 2 changing beers
  • Runners up in the CAMRA Club of the year 2015
  • LocAle Accredited


The Club Crest

The Chevron Crest symbolises "protection", "faithful service" and "enduring loyalty".

The blue background colour symbolises "strength" and "loyalty".

The gold symbolises "generosity".

The hand (left) symbolises "faith", "sincerity" and "justice".

The garb (right) symbolises "plentifulness" and "achievement of hope"

The trefoil (bottom) symbolises "perpetutity" and "longevity".